The Songs of Trees

The Songs of Trees

Stories From Nature's Great Connectors

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Forest Unseen visits with nature's most magnificent networkers -- trees

"Both a love song to trees, an exploration of their biology, and a wonderfully philosophical analysis of their role they play in human history and in modern culture." - Science Friday


David Haskell has won acclaim for eloquent writing and deep engagement with the natural world. Now, he brings his powers of observation to the biological networks that surround all species, including humans. Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees, exploring connections with people, microbes, fungi, and other plants and animals. He takes us to trees in cities (from Manhattan to Jerusalem), forests (Amazonian, North American, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change (eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones.) In each place he shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of trees.

Scientific, lyrical, and contemplative, Haskell reveals the biological connections that underpin all life. In a world beset by barriers, he reminds us that life's substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Viking,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780525427520
Branch Call Number: 577.3 Has
Characteristics: xi, 292 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 12, 2018

It is fitting that Haskell references Baker’s "The Peregrine" in this book as his poetic prose has the same visceral impact on the reader’s senses. He has a gift for capturing the sounds of nature in onomatopoeic words. (I found myself listening to the winter forest in a different way, the swish of white pine and the rattle of red oak leaves in the damp east wind.) But more than this, Haskell is an extraordinary writer and philosopher. He is a keen observer of nature, which is not a separate entity from humanity, but part of a whole where we “unself”. His essays on trees in cities, Denver and New York, are the most powerful and offer some hope for better stewardship of the green space to which we are drawn. This is a book to reread and savour. I look forward to his next one.
[Note: OPL does not have a copy of "The Peregrine".]

Aug 29, 2017

The Songs of Trees: a lyrically transfixing, minute inspection of a ubiquitous, taken-for-granted species, namely trees. If time is taken, one perceives a subtly haunting quality enveloping trees. Could it be that our fate is entwined with the quality of their existence? Are they sentinels as regards our very survival? Required of the reader is a modicum of perseverance, for the richness of detail in the various observations is quite amazing, thus precluding anything but a measured perusal.

ontherideau Aug 18, 2017

In depth information of tree life sytems. The Hidden Life of Trees is more readable if you have interest.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top